Get started with Mattermost Channels

Access Mattermost Channels by selecting Channels from the product menu Navigate between Channels, Playbooks, and Boards using the Product list icon..

Channels are where you can communicate with your team about various topics or projects. The channels you’re a member of and useful channel management tools are available in the channel sidebar to the left.

See our Mattermost Channels documentation for details on the many ways you can use Channels to enable team collaboration.

Channels and direct messages

Everyone who joins a Mattermost workspace is automatically added to two default channels: Town Square and Off-Topic. See our Channel Types documentation for details.

  • Town Square is great for your team-wide communications, such as announcements.

  • Off-Topic is great for fun, social, non-work-related conversations.

Direct messages are private conversations between two people. Group messages are private conversations for small groups of up to seven people. Start a new direct or group message by selecting the Plus The Plus icon provides access to channel and direct message functionality. icon next to Direct Messages in the channel sidebar.

Tip

Direct and group messages are also channels in Mattermost, so many of the preferences available for channels are also available for direct messages.

Create and join channels

Channels are either public or private.

  • Public channels are identified with a Globe Public channels are identified with a Globe icon. icon. Anyone on the team can join a public channel.

  • Private channels are typically used for sensitive topics, and are identified with a Lock Private channels are identified with a Lock icon. icon. You must be invited to private channels by another channel member.

To see all available public channels you can join, select the Plus The Plus icon provides access to channel and direct message functionality. icon at the top of the channel sidebar, then select Browse Channels. Search for channels by name or scroll through the list. Select Join next to any channel to become a member of that channel.

Tip

Select Find Channel in the channel sidebar to see a list of recently visited channels and to jump to specific channels quickly by name, including public and private channels, as well as all direct and group messages.

To create a new public or private channel, select the Plus The Plus icon provides access to channel and direct message functionality. icon, then select Create New Channel. Anyone can create new channels, unless the System Admin has restricted permissions to do so. See our Create Channels documentation for more information.

As your channel sidebar fills up with channels you’ve joined, you can organize your channels into categories based on how you work. See Customize Your Channel Sidebar for details.

Invite people to the team

You can invite members of your organization, as well as external guests such as vendors or project partners, to a Mattermost team. Anyone can invite people to the team, unless the System Admin has disabled this option or restricted permissions to do so.

To invite people to a team, select the Plus The Plus icon provides access to channel and direct message functionality. icon, then select Invite People.

  • For existing Mattermost users, enter usernames, then select Member. An invitation to join the team is sent as a direct message.

  • For new Mattermost users or guests, enter email addresses, then select Guest. You must specify the channels the guest can access.

Tip

To extend an invitation to a larger group of people, you can share a team invitation link rather than sending individual invitations. Select the Plus The Plus icon provides access to channel and direct message functionality. icon, then select Invite People, then copy the invite link to your clipboard.

All email invitations contain a single-use link that expires after 48 hours. System Admins can also invalidate all active invitation links. See our Invite people to teams documemtation for details on inviting people to your Mattermost workspace.

Send messages

Enter your message in the text field, then press ENTER to send the message. Your messages can also include images and file attachments.

  • Copy and paste images or drag-and-drop image files into the text field to add them to your message.

  • Select the Attachment Use the Attachment icon to add images or files to your messages. icon to the right of the text field to attach documents or other files to your message.

Customize your Mattermost experience

You can customize many aspects of your Mattermost experience, including the types of notifications you receive, how unread channels are organized, the number of direct messages to show, your Mattermost theme, and more!

  • Select your user avatar in the top-right corner of the Mattermost screen to manage your profile, status, and availability. See Manage Your Mattermost Profile for more information on managing your profile.

  • Select the Settings Use the Settings icon to customize your Mattermost user experience. icon to manage your notifications, display, channel sidebar options, and more. See Customize Your Channels Experience for more information on managing your Mattermost preferences.